Kathleen Wynne says no point in rushing Ring of Fire
Bob Rae and Frank Iaccobucci working closely with First Nations communities, making progress
Ontario's Premier says the province will let businesses make decisions on where to locate smelters and processing plants, while the Ring of Fire will bring jobs to the region on its own.
Kathleen Wynne made the comments Tuesday after a mining analyst's suggestion the government should do more to make mining attractive.
Wynne said there's no point in rushing agreements among government, First Nations, and mining companies.
"There is a political message that's out there from the opposition parties that says … we should move faster on the Ring of Fire … and we just have to sweep all of the barriers out of the way," Wynne said.
"That's code for not paying attention to environmental protections, and not making sure that our relationships with First Nations are in place."
Wynne added that Bob Rae and Frank Iaccobucci are working very closely with First Nations communities, and are making progress.
With respect to the location of the chromite smelter, "I'm pleased … that that decision was made to have that processor here in Ontario," she said.
"There will be spinoff industries. And so, it's a matter of making sure that we get the conditions right so that businesses will comes, they will see the opportunities. That's exactly what will happen as a result of the development of the Ring of Fire."
Mining industry writer Stan Sudol said the province should try to get the chromite smelter built in Thunder Bay instead of Sudbury and suggested the province could help arrange for a stainless steel plant to be located in Thunder Bay.